Victory Over Victim - Living Unconsciously is A horrible Fate
"Each of us possesses enough Grace to transfigure any being." ~ Rumi
A PEEK AT LOVE...
CHOOSING VICTORY OVER VICTIM...
One More Idea = One More Permanent Lifetime Shift:
We are on highway 41, driving back to our home in Southern California from hanging out at the beautiful vacation cabin Lori's dad generously created for the clan. Our adolescent sons have finally settled down in the back of the proverbial mini-van; the long Labor Day weekend is over. Meanwhile you could cut the mutual silent resentment that Lori and I had for each other with a knife.
We were about to "celebrate" our 17th wedding anniversary. I put celebrate in quotation marks because, even though we had beautiful kids, home, lifestyle, and outward success, our marriage had declined to one of mutual disdain and mutual contempt for one another. We could no longer communicate to each other without slipping in a snide, sardonic comment about each other's mutually perceived defects.
Along with a long list of bereavements accumulated over the years, I was seen by Lori as selfish, thoughtless, rude, and insensitive. Along with a long list of bereavements accumulated over the years I saw Lori as selfish, thoughtless, rude and insensitive.
As a result, we were at a stand-off. The spark and love we once celebrated was becoming a distant and shattered dream. We both felt helpless and hopeless; we had been to therapists, ministers, self-help gurus, weekend seminars and everything else. We had read and listened to many books and videos on relationships and personal growth. We tried everything we could think of, still our relationship was accelerating into a dark and empty hole of mutual resentment. It seemed that we were simply and terminally growing apart.
I certainly believed that I deserved appreciation for all that I was doing; after all, I was a good provider, diligent father, and a faithful and attentive husband. And Lori simply didn't appreciate the sacrifice and everything else that I do for her and the kids.
Conversely, Lori certainly believed that she deserved appreciation for all that she was doing and her sacrifice; after all, she was really good at keeping our home in order, a diligent and tireless mother, kept herself up exquisitely, a faithful and attentive wife, and Robert simply didn't appreciate everything that she does.
We both believed that each was giving life and each other all that we had; we were pro-active, intelligent, generous, respected and the community admired our transparency and our ability to grow. Outward, we were in many ways the ideal couple and family.
Since we had "tried everything", we both sank deeper and deeper into resignation, hopelessness, martyrdom, and quiet desperation. We began to assume that we were just two good people that "grew incompatible" and could no longer appreciate each other's attributes. However, we between a rock and a hard place; we had three beautiful little boys in the back of the mini-van that we could not let down because of our failure to pick the right life mate. So instead of cutting short our wedding vows, certainly believing that both could do better with someone else who would actually appreciate us, we stayed miserably together, wishing each other could just appreciate each other.
An hour or so after passing Fresno, I broke the silence and told Lori that I needed a bathroom break. This launched a tirade about how I "always have to go to the bathroom and the boys are sleeping, and stopping will wake them up, can't you just wait, for God's sake?" This shut me up for a little while I feuded to myself, thinking, what a bitch, while Lori kept right on driving in spite of my aching bladder.
My mind was racing, angry, resentful and totally victimized by the fact that this bitch won't even let me pee. I'm thinking I have to go to the bathroom; what's the big deal. Why does everything have to be a big deal with her? Feeling persecuted while she drove on, I finally said, "There's a rest stop, please pull in there." After a heavy sigh from Lori, she pulled in. With her foot on the brake, she tells me to hurry up. I'm pissed, really pissed, "hurry up" I mused, and thought, what a bitch.
My life seems to be the sum of epiphanies and flashes of insight that seem to alter my belief systems to the core and they come at the oddest times. Maybe it is all of the decades of studying the human experience, where the knowledge builds up and hits a flashpoint in my soul from time to time. Maybe it is God whispering to me the Truth. Whatever it was, something profound happened to me between getting out of the car, using the men's room, and getting back in the car.
I got back in the car and looked at Lori in a completely new perspective. I reached over and turned off the ignition while saying, "I need to tell you something." I could see the fear I her eyes, as if she was thinking, here? Now? What now Robert, an affair? We're bankrupt? You want a divorce?
I gently put my hand on her arm and said, "Why is that two people vow to one another in marriage, to honor each other, nurture each other, care for one another, through sickness and health, 'til death do us part, treat each other worse than they would a common stranger?
Look at us! We treat each other with such disrespect and disdain. You do not deserve to be treated this way! Lori, I am so wrong for doing this to you; you are my beautiful wife, friend, and the mother of my children! You deserve to be treated as the great, great person you work so hard to be, especially by your husband, the one man who promised before God to honor you!
Please know that from this moment forward I will only say kind things to you. From this moment forward Lori, I vow to only honor you, to show you highest respect, to be kind and accommodating; to be an example for our sons on how to treat you. I do not expect you to treat me back this way, although I would appreciate it, because I can only control my actions, thoughts and words. When I mess up Lori, and I am certain that I will, I promise to take responsibility for my actions and promptly apologize as soon as I see it.
Lori looked at me and was speechless for perhaps a minute. She then said, "Whatever", started the car, and got back on the freeway. We continued to ride home in silence, but it wasn't the same silence. For me it was sane silence. I was deep in thought; deep in my heart, deep in a paradigm shift. I had made this marriage all about me, instead of all about us. Lori is an amazing, sexy woman! She is diligent and beautiful, truthful, loyal and loving. I love her blinding smile and the way her nose crinkles. She is so good to our sons and people trust her; I trust her. She has taught me love and the value of the moment like no one else.
I became selfish, I created expectations that I was not getting everything I supposedly needed from her, yet she does so much! I am the leader of this family and I have let us emotionally decay into chaos. I can bring us back to a great place if my love is greater than anything else. Lori will follow me if she trusts my vision. That is why she married me and I quit on us.
I am responsible for us. I will bring the vision of love and purpose back into our marriage. I will do this by being responsible for all communication. If Lori is unkind or disrespectful to me, I will ask, "who am I being such that she treats me this way?" If I am truly noble, generous, unrelenting, respectable, polite, trustable, she would not want to treat me unkindly, she would rather honor my path, and I hers. We must outdo each other in honor! The only way that this can happen is if I outdo Lori in honor first and always come from love from this moment forward.
The next morning I began to list all of the things that I was not doing that was truly noble, generous, unrelenting, respectable, polite, and trustable. My concept of marriage and family was publically urbane, one of how things should be, old fashioned, per se. I played the role of husband because it was essentially my duty and obligation. I often objectified Lori to one of an inferior being that did not know that things I knew. I assumed she was here to care for me, the home and children. I also saw the world through a very proud ego and looked for love and fulfillment outside of me with earnings, status and looking good.
I now realized that I must be the embodiment of love, I must be living proof. Something in me must burn deep in my heart such that it drives me; no less intense of a desire than that of a salmon on a sojourn to its place of birth, unstoppable against a raging current. I mustn't do it from a place of obligation or seeking an outcome, I must do it from a deep place of desire.
I knew there was a battle raging inside of me between the self satiating pride of my ego and the purity of my heart. Logic and will got me into this mess, believing that if I do "X", I will get "Y", and when I didn't get "Y", I would act like a petulant child. This is the concrete thinking of my manipulative mind. My heart is bigger than this and I have allowed it to atrophy into an afterthought usually brought on by some modicum of guilt. I will reverse the course; I will build my heart into a powerful resource of unstoppable goodness and let my ego atrophy.
The example I must create must become as an instinctual part of me, as a tender and wise, and benevolent being. Even though stained by the human condition, I can prove to Lori, my sons, and others, what real love is; I will play full out. I will be patient and kind. I will not envy or compare. I will no longer boast about the "things I do". I will not act proud, I will embrace humility. I will not be rude or self-seeking, making the marriage all about me. In my new found humility, I will openly contribute to mundane activities and tasks that used to be beneath me. With a servant's heart, I will be willing to vacuum, sweep, do laundry, drive the kids to and from and everything else; regardless of my work day. I will not be easily angered, and I will apologize and get back to loving powerfully as soon as I can, if angered.
I will look at my character defects, and instead of empty promises, I will eliminate them. I will become interested in what interests Lori and genuinely listen while participating in her life. I will make what is important to her important to me because she is important to me. I will invite her into my world and consult her wisdom. I will keep no record of wrongs; from this moment forward, Lori's slate is wiped clean; she is white as snow and will remain this way, regardless of her humanity. I will not live in my ego; rather I will now ask this one question as I grow; what is the most loving decision?
I will always seek to be transparent so Lori and the boys will always know my truth. I will protect Lori's heart by being kind, responsible, intuitive and safe. I will earn her trust, she will always have hope and faith that my intentions for her will always be of the highest order. I will be the leader hat teaches that love shall always persevere and is always the outcome sought.
It occurred to me that I must transcend "love" from beyond a mere noun to the Supreme verb and become a master in the language of love. As a boy, I saw love as a noun, asking myself and others, "What is Love?" As I grew, love became an adjective, "Am I loving a person?" Today, love shall be the Verb above all verbs and the benchmark above all others. I will seek the progress to love in my heart by the kindness I yield, while wanting nothing back, because I also love me and because today love became me.
It's not just excercise, vitamins, hormones and other physical needs, AntiAging requires a healthy soul that loves powefully...
whatever is true,
whatever is noble,
whatever is right,
whatever is pure,
whatever is lovely,
whatever is admirable,
if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things. Philippians 4:8
Live long, live well,
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